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Us 13, Hagel 11, Washington 10, Chuck Hagel 9, Chicago 9, Israel 6, America 6, Baltimore 4, Obama 4, Iraq 3, Michael Eric Dyson 3, Newtown 3, Katrina Van Den Hoogel 2, Sandy 2, Luke Russert 2, Giffords 2, Reuters 2, Nra 2, Cia 2, Chuck Schumer 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    January 8, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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this easy-to-understand guide will answer some of your questions, and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. [ bop ] [ bop ] [ bop ] you can do that all you want, i don't like v8 juice. [ male announcer ] how about v8 v-fusion. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8. >> republicans in congress have chosen to spend their time leading the moderate republican of nebraska. it is tuesday, january 8th, and this is "now."
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joining us today political analyst and georgetown university professor the golden throat michael eric dyson. huffington post, washington bureau chief ryan grim, katrina van den hoogel is publisher of the nation and krbt for bloomberg businessweek josh green. the hearing for chuck hagel hasn't even begun, but some senators are already cast theiring ballots against him. so far six senators have openly said they will not vote to confirm him. senators john cornyn, lindsey graham, tom coburn ted cruz and -- >> he is profoundly wrong on a number of the most important national security issues that face our country today. >> chuck hagel is sticking up for himself rebutting any suggestions of anti-secmitism. yesterday he told his hometown paper "the lincoln journal star"
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there is not one shred of evidence that i'm anti-israel, not one vote against israel. hagel voted for close to $ho 40 billion in military aid to israel. further, as richard cohen notes in "the washington post" nothing hagel has said about israel is not said in the israeli press on a daily basis. trust me, by the "wall street journal" standards israeli media would be deeply anti-semitic. lost perhaps in the discussion over hagel's position on israel is one of the main reasons he was nominated in the first place. >> most importantly, chuck knows that war is not an abstraction. he knows that sending young americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that's something we only do when it's absolutely necessary. >> a decorated war veteran reportedly requested to be sent to vietnam. hagel spoke to the library of congress in 2002 about how his military service had informed his world view. >> someone needs to represent
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that perspective in our government as well. the people in washington make the policy, but it's the little guys who come back in the body bag. >> as president obama attempts to put his next cabinet together, republicans seem to have developed an acute case of goldilocks syndrome. susan rice was too much of a loyalist, and republicans called for someone of independence. chuck hagel, however, has too much of his own voice and is outside of the mainstream. while it remains unclear whether anyone will ever be just right for the gop, perhaps a party nay sayers have forgotten the fundamental truth about this nomination. for his part robert gates, former defense secretary under george w. bush and president obama has not. speaking to hagel's nomination gates said, "while there are issues on which i have disagreed with him, such as the 2007 surge in iraq, he is a man of complete integrity and deep patriotism." he then added, "he is also the president's choice." ryan, it has been interesting to watch the back and forth on hagel's nomination as far as
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how -- we'll focus on republicans thus far have treated it, which is to say they all say, you know, we'll wait until the hearing. we want to give him a fair trial, but there's no way i'm voting for him. the question is out there. can he even have a fair trial at this point? >> right. we'll give hi trial first and then we'll -- >> hang him later. >> exactly. i don't even know if it matters if he gets a fair trial because they don't like what they're hearing. they don't like what this year going to hear, whether it's a fair or unfair trial. the idea that he is out of the mainstream and that should disqualify him is insane. what has the mainstream gotten us over the last ten years? a couple of awful wars, you know, an expanding security state, et cetera. >> if his mainstream is being against the invasion of iraq, that's the main stream i think i would like to be a part of. >> being in the mainstream should disqualify you, in fact. >> if the main strooem meanseeringness for war with iran and deference to israel, that's not the main strooem in
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this country. >> what's stun issing after the debacle of iraq that these neocons are not fully discredited and run out of washington. i think what chuck hagel brings -- >> how is that possible? >> oh, you know, alex. there's kind of a suffocatining consensus sometimes, and they have dominated through the media. i think what's important about chuck hagel, which is unusual in washington, is that he speaks his mind, that there's an independence of spirit. there's division. >> for that he will be punished, right? >> there's a reason why republicans don't like him. besides the stuff that's sort of come out from his opponents, hagel in the senate was known as a maverick, and republicans don't like people to break from within their own party. remember how they thought about john mccain ten years ago when he was running against george
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bush. chuck hagel has some of the problems that he does. keep in mind, he is as -- we said in intro, he is obama's choice, and, of course, republicans are going to object to him. there's a certain amount of partisan ranker. >> that's a problem, right? once it's completely obvious that they would try to block him because he is obama's choice, but this is not sfw that is traditionally done. we have a statistic somewhere here. do you know how many cabinet nominees have been rejected since 1789? 2%. >> wow. >> the understanding is when a president wants someone to be in his cabinet, you let the president have that person in his cabinet, but michael eric dyson, are we witnessing the dawn of a new era where everything the man wants to do is -- >> i teach hagel, marx, and freud, they're just great people. the reality is that chuck hagel is an independent-minded person. the republicans want your cake
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and eat it too. you want somebody who is independent and saying, look, i disagree. gently but forcefully. here's a man who has been full of integrity about his particular positions. why do the republicans all of a sudden turn on him? uh-huh. because he is obama's choice. you have already told us that it's a very rare occasion that the president's choice is not selected. again, what are we left with here? heeshz the same stufr than in 2013. >> american political life has become more about smearing than about engagement with ideas. we haven't talked about another nomination. john brennan and the nomination to be head of the cia has been underreported, and i think what's striking about that is that what was controversial in 2008, and obama had to withdraw him from nomination from the cia. it hasn't been controversial. what does that say about our politics? i want to venture a bold idea which senator daniel patrick moynihan raised in legislation in both 1991 1k3 1995 which this country should think about abolishing the cia.
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it has a bad track record. we should take a hard look. forget hearings about president's nominees, but we need a new church committee, a new pike committee. people might go check it out. into the abuses of the security state which has grown beyond the bounds of accountability which this democracy demands. >> let's talk about the left and how they are approaching both of these, and i want to focus first on hagel. we are talking about neo conservatives and how they have come out of the wood work -- not even the wood work. they've come out against hagel. democrats are not exactly standing up for this guy, and chuck -- sorry. chuck schumer yesterday saying i look forward to fully studying his records and exploring his views, which is akin to saying maybe. let's take a listen to what these people said yesterday. >> i do want to speak with him particularly about his comments 14 years ago to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient. >> i want to get an explanation about his position in regards to iran. he has been very reluctant to
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support tough sanctions against iran. iran is an extremely dangerous country. >> now, ryan, is this something like did is this just par for the course that democrats have to say they sort of have to doff their cap to potential, you know, problems they would have with their base visa vi israel or iran sanctions and showing they're tough on these matters, and then they can say, okay, this is our guy? >> i think that's driving some of the democrats here, but katrina is right. if you were -- if you have two no, ma'am nags here, one of them is controversial and one is not controversial, one of them backed torture, and that's not the controversial one. that's not the one wee debating whether we should be enshrining in and rewarding it. he withdrew himself in 2009 because he thought the politics of this were too hot at the time for him to be elevated. obviously that's no longer the calculation. you know, we have basically said it's okay. that this is part of how we run our foreign policy, and that
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says a lot, and is it doesn't say anything good. >> it says a lot about where the dmgz have come in terms of national security issues, and dmes pick in terms of xr judicial killing of american citizens in terms of tower tour and drones. at this point, it's not going to be the gop that brings up those being controversial tk ticks. >> it's only one of the two nominees runs counter to where the center of today's gop foreign policy establishment is, and that happens to be the republicans. >> but the -- >> but it shouldn't be about parties. i mean, i think the democrats have been pretty lousy in many ways on maintaining a war stance. you know, chuck schumer and others supported the invasion of iraq. senator edward kennedy once said it was the most important vote in his many years in the senate that he opposed the iraq war. brennan is someone who is kind of showing the continuity between the bush and the obama administrations, and it is something that, let's be honest, the progressive democratic wing hasn't wanted to speak out about, but i think you need to
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do it issue by issue and stand for, as the president said, i believe in his inauguration, his first one, that we don't have to trade our security for our values. it's incumbent upon us as citizens to continue to speak about that. >> here's the problem, though. what you said is absolutely right. then when you figure out the calculations on the ground because people are trying to be strategic and practical and practicing matic at the same time. they say, look, i want to make an effort to resist the president on strategic basis. then i throw in with these neo cons over here if i do that and they are smearing him at will. >> i agree there is a trend -- >> what about people who are the in middle? >> look what happened to the senate and the flight of the moderates? olympia snow, dick louinger, kay bailey hutchison, ben nelson, they are gone. chuck hagel is having problems because he is a man without a country. he has not been in lock step with the democrats, and he is not exactly a republican in what is now presumed to be a mainstream republican thought.
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that's a problem that people who think outside of party boxes now have serious problems with both parties. >> particularly on the security issues. i think that's always been a problem. i think there is a transpartisan alliance to be made that is both pragmatic and strategic around these issues of a security state which run counter to what we need in order to rebuild at home. that's where hagel, by the way, is also attracting a lot of republican fire. they don't like the idea of cuts to the defense budget. he has spoken, not strongly enough, but sees the need to do that. the pentagon is running 322 golf courses around this world on taxpayer dime. there's some bloat in there that doesn't get as much attention as social security and medicare. >> it does represent a threat to the direction of foreign policy. that's really what is behind this op zegs. >> i will end this segment, unfortunately. we have to end it here, but i will say this. i think you look at that tape of chuck hagel speaking in 2002 talking about his experience in vietnam. the president's words about being in the blood and the mud war are so important and to have
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someone who has seen combat and seen it in that way and still has shrapnel in his chest making decisions about what's going to happen to the men and women overseas should not be lost on the american puck. after the break congress has a few options for avoiding the next fiscal crisis. president obama can use an unconventional option to neutralize the fight. trillion dollar coins. >> we should have known a coin was obama's solution to everything. it was right there in his slogan. change. >> would we be having a shiny conversation about shiny coins if congress was actually, you know, working? we will discuss with the champ of capitol hill, luke russert, next on "now." what are you doing?
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nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work? no, i was just looking for my stapler and my... this thing. i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today. [ male announcer ] save on ground shipping at fedex office.
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capitol hill is empty this week as congress is on recess, or, rather, a constituent workweek. it is time for congressmen and women to travel home, meet and hear from their constituents, or for the speaker of the house it's a time to fly down to florida for the bcs national championship football game and according to politico, have drinks at this place, outdoor tiki bar at the lodge and spa in the florida keys. it does look like a nice play for a pina colada. congress was in session for a whopping 150 days last year. les you think those days were spent tirelessly legislating or vaguely being part of the legislative process, think again. our man in washington ryan grim obtained a power point slide sent from the democratic congressional campaign committee to the new freshmen lawmakers. in a nine to ten hour day it calls for four hours of call time and events for fund raise and press.
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another one hour is designated for strategic outreach to community leaders and potential donors and one to two hours for community invitation. that leaves, oh, three to four hours per day reserved for actual legislating. meanwhile, there is still a stack of homework waiting for lawmakers to tackle. at the end of february there is the triple threat, the automatic spending cuts, the debt ceiling, and a continuing resolution to fund the government. there are also two pieces of legislation that embarrassingly congress dropped the ball on last year are, relief for victims of hurricane sandy and renewal of the violence against women act. there is the farm bill that sets farm subsidies and food aid for the poor. there is postal reform, as the usps hemorrhaging $25 million a day and may need a bail-out, and the pie in the sky, the if only they could get their act together and actually do something wish list items, meaningful changes to the nation's gun laws and immigration reform, which the 11 million undocumented workers in this country are counting on. more than just a full plate, this is a jam packed enchilada
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of responsibility. joining us now from washington is the sade of capitol hill, boat shoe enthusiast and my celebrity dopplerleganger, nbc's luke russert. a man, i will say, who does not really take a vacation, luke. you have been in the trenches this whole holiday season, my friend. >> yeah, but thankfully the united states congress, the 113th got off to a whopping start by taking a week off after they got sworn in, which is a welcome reprieve for a lot of us in d.c. >> bringing out the boat shoes for the new year. jerry side writing in the "wall street journal" what's lacking in congress is an attitude among the capitol's politicians that while acknowledging they have different views, they must agree that they need to solve problems despite differences. in the absence of a new center, there is a need for a new attitude." how bullish are you on a new attitude in congress? >> zero. i think that -- >> that's your percentage of bullishness? >> yes. had he absolutely -- ryan can tell you the same thing. here is the deal. everything in washington d.c. in
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the next three months is going to focus on this triple threat, triple crown, march madness, whatever you want to call it, debt limit, funding government, and replacing the sequester. everything else will get blown over. that's sad because you will have gun control by joe biden's group coming out at the end of january. obviously the farm bill is very much needed. violence against women is very much needed. you're seeing a postal reform that's needed. they're just bleeding, hemorrhaging money. consolidating post offices, people losing their jobs. all that takes a backbone of these big budget wars, and people always ask why isn't congress doing this, why is congress not working like it's supposed to? because everyone is focused on beating the big issue, which is essentially trying to check mate president obama and that's really what it's come down to. i mean, this congress -- the last congress showed us that nothing can happen until the last possible moment where thor forced to move on something.
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i don't know if you watch "the daily show." they made a great analogy that we tied a damsel in distress on a train track and wait until the train is about ready to go over her before we act. that's a good analogy for congress. >> the president talked last year prior to the fiscal curve cliff, slope, whatever you want to call it. >> yeah. >> about the fever break and that republicans would eventually understand that obstructionism did not serve the party, and i don't think it really did. i don't think the gop came out looking particularly good post the fiscal slope deal. that said it doesn't look like they're going to change their tactics at all, and i wonder can the president, as he has said he will, bow out of the debt ceiling negotiations and sort of leave it to congress? >> if he can, a lot of us are look willing for a way to do that, aside from the trillion dollar coin. from my conversation with republicans, the debt limit will be the most significant thing they do this year. >> y? they feel they have the most lerchlg against president obama to force him to make massive
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changes to entitlement and enact massive spending cuts. when he says he won't negotiate on the debt limit, they're going all in on the debt limit. if you read the profile of a lot of these new guys, politico had one this morning, if you have conversations with a lot of these gop aids, they say the folks coming in, a lot of these freshmen, they come from very conservative rural districts where they see any extension to the debt limit is adding to the united states to the red, and they don't want to do that under any circumstances. this idea that the new congress will somehow understand economics 101 understand that you need to incur more debt senatored every in order for the national economy and the world economy to flourish is lost on a lot of the new members, is lost on a lot of folks in the house republican congress. hence, you have the divide between the establishment people that get the ear of wall street and do not want to play games with this and the folks that realize they want to turn down the debt. >> those folks, like the -- some of the folks that are profiled in politico are getting money from -- there are other outside
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501 c 3 and 4 organizations that -- ryan, in terms of the president's statement about not playing ball on the debt ceiling, part of me -- i don't know whether there is a part of me that would be in a football stadium with body paint on or not, hopes he does that and says, you know what, you guys barely do anything. why don't you try and do your job, and if you can't get your act together on this, then you can continue to have the terrible ratings and worry about getting primaried in 2014. >> he is awfully committed to this idea that he is not going to negotiate on this debt ceiling at all whatsoever. forget about it. i think republicans who think that they have leverage on this are actually misunderstanding the situation. newt gingrich said it exactly right. a week before the debt ceiling hits, the entire world of global finance will come in, remind them of their class loyalties and enough of them will join with democrats to raise the debt ceiling. that's what will happen. they will have embarrassed themselves in the process. you know, greg sergeant of the
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washington post has been writing about this. a lot of them are starting to realize that. once you have a few of them llz 2 -- >> they haven't realized it yet. >> there's a dilutional loop with which this party operates. maybe john boehner and his elbow-like exile -- >> there's an elbow-like exile in dabbingry land. >> there's a disarray and disrepute that the republican party has fallen into. you want i want to come back to the memo about the time people spend on money, raising money. that is a terrible disservice to people. i think you do see with the independent expenditures and the money pumping in that it leaves people -- we should not draw false ekwifl ens because the republicans have been obstructionists far more than democrats. it leaves young republicans, especially, fear of primaries, fear of the money that could lead them to be ousted and they're not going to move very carefully. i think the poison of money is something that should be elevated in this country, and it could be. there is legislation that could
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move. >> the poison of money is what's going to get republicans to the table. that's going to be wall street and the financial southwests industry saying you have lost your minds. >> i think that's right, and it's happening already. the ceos, as i write in "businessweek" were supposed to guide us to this nice cooperative solution on the fiscal cliff, and in the weeks before the deadline, they were sort of awol. they all know how serious the debt ceiling is, so i think you'll see that wall street pressure come much earlier. the other point that needs to be made is it's tough for republicans to actually do what they claim and want to do and hold the country hostage because in order to do so, they need to stipulate late their demands, and they will not come out and say we want to cut medicare this much or social security this much, and it's almost comical watching them on tv saying the president must go first, the president must go first. s. >> never underestimate the visceral intensity or the poetic allure of negro-phobia. they are completely committed to that. that's what obama is facing. >> there's the contention that the republicans aren't going to play ball on the sequester, but
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at the end of the day, my friend, it seems that defense cuts will be more painful for republicans than democrats, and they are going to have to do something on this. >> yeah. one would think, but honestly, alex, i think it comes back to this idea that everyone thought after president obama was re-elected with such high margins that they would play ball during the lame-duck. they didn't do it until the last possible moment. the one ray of hope you want to look at in the house republican conference, i call them the cole caucus. cole said to come out with the 50 or below plan. there's about 65 members that voted for the fiscal cliff deal who are still around who have not retired. those 65 are going to be the group that john boehner must have for any final deal on the debt limit, government funding, or the sequester because i'm pretty confident the rest of his conference is not willing to play ball to add to the national debt under any circumstances, and he is going to have to look like a strong leader to them. hence, he is going to go to the 11th hour once again. >> he has to come back from
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daqari land. look luke russert who would tie himself to the train for a deal. >> i would do that. we beat the thunder, professor. what a win. >> i was right there, my brother. right there with you. >> there we go. >> now we have to go to break. coming up, it has been two years since the deadly rampage that left congresswoman gabby giffords severely wounded, but as we reflect on violent rampages in the last few years, comprehensive reform on the nation's gun laws remain stuck in a time warp. we will discuss just ahead.
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meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate. but that's not all you'll see, cause c-max also beats prius v, with better mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid. sdmrurchlgts he has conquered the hip-hop world, film, and television, and even a conservative backlash to a well-intentioned white house visit, and today he is taking on "now." artist and actor common joins us in studio for a discussion on violence, american life, and the new movie next on "now."
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clusters of pustules, pimples. i had this shingle rash right next to my spine. the soreness was excruciating. it was impossible to even think about dancing. when you're dancing, your partner is holding you. so, his hand would have been right in the spot that i had the shingles. no tango. no rhumba. you can't be touched. for more of the inside story, visit shinglesinfo.com i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast.
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♪ oh what a relief it is!
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woman: we're helping joplin, missouri, come back from a devastating tornado. man: and now we're helping the east coast recover from hurricane sandy. we're a leading global insurance company, based right here in america. we've repaid every dollar america lent us. everything, plus a profit of more than $22 billion. for the american people. thank you, america. helping people recover and rebuild -- that's what we do. now let's bring on tomorrow.
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sfwlimplgts teed tucson marks the second anniversary of the gabby giffords shooting with a ringing of bells and a renewed call to action from giffords and her husband astronaut mark kelly. announcing the formation of a new group americans for responsible solutions, giffords and kelly said the group will be dedicated to raising money to match the nra and gun lobbyists and both their reach and resource. an usa today op ed they spoke for urgent need for action. in response to a horrific series of shootings that have sewn terror in our communities, victimized tens of thousands of americans, and left one of its own bleeding and near death in a parking lot, congress has done something quite extraordinary. nothing at all. the two also spoke about their effort to abc's diane sawyer. >> gabby and i are both gun owners. we are strong supporters of the second amendment, but we've got
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to do something to keep the guns from getting into the wrong hands. >> when it can happen to children in a classroom, it's time to say -- >> enough. >> mayor michael bloomberg is also out pushing the message saying the upcoming debate is one gun control activists can win. >> there are some legislators who think differently or they think that their careers would be limited if they go against the nra. i don't happen to think that's true. the nra was notoriously unsuccessful in the last election term. i create a little pac, and we went against four nra members, in three cases the opponent won. you can beat the nra. >> while the white house task force led by vice president joe biden is considering an array of measures to combat the problem, including reinstating the assault weapons ban, banning high capacity magazines, requiring background and mental health checks, opponents to any changes in the nation's gun laws are using a familiar refrain. >> within minutes we saw
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politicians run out and try to exploit this tragedy, try to push their political agenda of gun control. >> meanwhile, the chief obstacle to any weapons reform of any kind ever, the nra, stands by this prescription. >> the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> on the first day of the 113th congress no fewer than eight gun control bills were introduced, but the question remains the same as always. will congress actually pass any of them? joining the panel now is the star of the new film "love, artist, and actor common. it is a pleasure to have you on our set. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. thank you for having me. >> thank you for coming. common, the film that you're in
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which we'll talk about in some detail coming up focuses on sort of the perils of urban life, but also you're from chicago where you're no stranger to violence and the perils of urban life. chicago of the city with the number one murder rate in 2012. i wonder from your perspective when you look back and as we talk about gun control in this country and you hear stuff like the nra saying what we need are more guns, i mean, we need guns in our schools, what do you make of that? >> i mean, i think the biggest issue for our young people is to have opportunities to dream, to have guidance, to have love, to have support, and i don't think guns are the solution. more guns are never the solution. young people just want to live and have a dream and some of these kids just don't have the opportunity to even, like, say, hey, well, this is what i want to do with my life. it's bigger than -- it's bigger than the guns, and it's putting more guns in there is not going to solve anything. >> well, and then if you talk about the root of sort of widespread violence, reuters
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talks about chicago, and they say the root of violence in chicago today is in the desperate conditions in the black community and alienation of black youth. not some gang war that could be ended by suppression or negotiation. >> the root. i really feel like one of the biggest roots is we have to reinstruct the black family, and in that way i mean, like, by saying, hey, letting the images of black men be something that is of intelligence, letting them see, like, black men being successful, the black woman being heralded and being respected. basically it's like, you know, within the inner cities, we don't have a lot of correct parenting, and we have to change that. if the children don't have parents well, know we're starting from a deficit right now, then we got to figure out what can we do as elders, as people, even young people just to support each other. you know, like -- >> you know, i think it's a great point. i think also but the resources that permit people the time to parent correctly as well.
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join whatting common has brilliantly deconstructed there is you have latch key kids at home. they have to go homes because parents are working two, three jobs. if they stay home from one job to go get the report card, they get fired, and then they can't take care of that child. it's a tremendous affect there. from within i think the integrity of the black family certainly has to be -- you know, has to be strengthened and bolstered, but from without that point about reuters is the devastation and alienation. that alienation comes from economic opportunity that's been foreclosed, educational vistas that have been closed, and the possibility of seeing yourself as a human being. you can look at what happened in newtown, which we know is evil and horrific, and yet, the silence and invisibility of what happens in chicago, philadelphia, new york, detroit, oakland, and the like has to be addressed. >> michael, i think this moment needs to become a movement that binds newtown, that binds the fact that black young men are eight times more likely to be killed in gun homicides than
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young white men. i think there needs to be a sense of the urgency. what worries me is what you are talking about is critical in the short-term, the medium term, the long-term. in that poverty and despair, if there is access to guns and easy access to guns, we can talk about the mental health situation in this country, which is so important. we can talk about the violent culture, but other countries have mental health problems. other countries have violent vamz, but they don't have that easy access to guns which make this so deadly. >> they haven't been -- >> disposable youth. >> we said afternoon newtown, never again. we have not said never again when it happens in other communities, and the psychic signal it sends to young people that my life is not really worth the kind of political projection -- protection is really deaf stating. >> you know, i was telling common in the break, we were on the air together when newtown happened. >> right. >> it is a tragedy, and a massacre. it is worth all of the attention that it's gotten, but so is the fact that 74.6% of murder
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victims in chicago were african-american. i mean, this is a slow motion massacre that people don't pay attention to. if newtown prompts a broader discussion about guns weaponry, the breakdown of societial structures in this country, mental health resources, then good, but the question is, ryan, is this time different? >> i think it is different, but this really all comes back to the criminal justice system because, yes, everybody else has mental illness problems across the world. nobody treats them the way that we do. we treat mental illness as a criminal problem, and until you reform that in a radical way, nothing will change, and particularly the juvenile justice system. you take a troubled 10 or 1 1-year-old kid. he gets into the juvenile justice system. it's almost impossible to get out of that. as soon as you're in the juvenile justice system, you don't have the same rights. >> that's a great point. look, amnesty international did a study 15 years ago that said in. little sally and johnny in white america, don't do that again. little black and latino kids, sent to juvenile detention, which is a warehouse for jail,
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which becomes a pipeline for prison. now you begin to mark them and stigmatize them from the very beginning, and you set them up for the kind of dissent into so-called criminalality which fr which they are unable to recover. >> i think it's very important what you said, like, a lot of the problems haven't stemmed from within the family. it comes from outside resources, but now we have to have programs that will allow the kid that doesn't have the parents there. okay, what kind of programs can we have that will allow these kids to not just be out in the streets because, i mean, i talk to kids on the south side of chicago from inglewood that said, hey, we just want to, like, do something after school. we don't want to hang out and be around murder. they want to be in programs. they want to do something. >> one of the great tragedies of this moment is while there is a sense of urgency and the need to do what you say, we're -- they're sitting in washington talking about cuts. cuts, cuts, cuts to the very programs that we need to not
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only rebuild the possibilities of dreaming for young people, but the possibilities of this country and the families. >> those kids are disposable. we're sitting -- david cole, my colleague at georgetown, law school, has said that the reason we accept this is because largely black and latino men are dying at the hands of other black and latino men, and we see this as the necessary price to be paid for doing business in america, and when we say enough of that, then we're going to have serious -- >> we play a role, and we nus play a role because the media and the culture should lift up those stories of what's going on in those communities because newtown deserves all the attention. so does the day to day -- >> chicago, detroit. >> rampage and massacres. >> resist the notion. we got a well healed black couple in the white house too. they're catching hell too. but the image is powerful. the image is powerful. >> the image, and i think none of us can forget the image of grant park in 2008, and hopefully, you know, there will
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be another powerful image on january 20th as he gets sworn in for his second term. we cannot underestimate, i think, what that means for an entire generation of children, black, white, latino, asian growing up that there is that -- the couple that there is in the white house and that he got re-elected. >> i mean, that's the best image we can see for a young black and latino people. i can remember i had an opportunity to do a film -- i was going to do a film, and some young people saw that i was going to play a superhero, and they were, like, wow, this is the first time that we ever seen a black guy playing a superhero and another character with me was, like, man, my family feels proud. he was latino. he was, like, man, they seen a latino superhero. it's a boofl thing for us to see outside of entertainment to see the president and the first lady in office, and i mean, that's what we need. >> plus, i bet you look great in a cape. just saying. just saying. just saying. i just had to say it. we have to go to break, but katrina, thank you for joining us. katrina van den hoogel, thank
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you as always. we will talk with common about his new film "love" and the cycle of poverty and crime in american life just ahead. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. just two pills for all day pain relief. try aleve d for strong, all day long sinus and headache relief.
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i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup
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but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. in 2011 select conservatives raised a small brouhaha over the decision to invite common to a poetry reading at the white house. their objections stemmed from this def poetry jam video. >> i sing a song for the hero unsung with faces on the mirror of the revolution. no looking back because in back is what's done. tell the preacher god got more than one son. tell the law my oozie weighs a ton. i walk like a warrior from them i won't run. >> we will put the controversy in perspective and ask common about his new film role after the break. ♪ these are the days
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[ male announcer ] in the blink of an eye, they're all grown up. marie callender's homemade tastes are another great reason to sit down, and savor every last moment. ♪ because time flies... right before your eyes. marie callender's. it's time to savor. and don't forget, her family sized meals are perfect for everyone to share.
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the new movie "love" directed by sheldon candace starring xlon is a coming of age story about a young boy exposed to the rough life while spending the day with his uncle, an ex-convict. here's a clip. >> i'm all you got. >> if you're all i got, why you hit me and put me through all this today? >> ain't got nobody either. >> so, common, you were talking in the last segment about role models and positive role models, and the person thaw play in this is sort of trivia in terms of being a positive or negative role model, and i guess what drew you to that? what drew you to the role? >> for me it's really important to when i portrait characters to
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show the humanity in the person, and many times if you see someone who is just released from prison and, you know, they've been living the street life, you automatically may judge them. i don't want to live like as a person in my real life so, when i portrait characters i want people to see that just because you may have been a part of the prison system or you may have been in the street life doesn't make you a bad person. you may have made some bad choices, and we all have good and bad in us, so when i take on these characters, i need to show that. i need to show that, like, this person is pursuing the american dream. he wants to be a good father figure to his nephew. >> ryan, you know, we were talking about some of the issues relating to having been in prison, and there is a stigmatization and there's a whole sort of culture around prisons and post-prison when you get out of prison, and for many folks who serve time, the sort of hope, the sense of mobility within american society is quashed. you have a record, and are you
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treated in a different way. your options are decidedly less there. >> it's not just the culture. it's the framework that builds up around it. people that leave prison don't have the same bill of rights that regular citizens do. not only can they not vote, which is the most obvious one, they can't associate with other people who have felonies, which in some neighborhoods is a lot of people. they can't leave certain areas without talking to a probation officer, parole officer. if they fail a drug test, they might go right back to prison. it's not a crime to fail a drug test unless you are on parole. within washington d.c. one of the most heart-breaking sights is if you go down to the courthouse, there's a computer where you can type in and look for somebody's criminal record. it's employers with applications in their hands just typing names into this computer. every time a name comes up, that application dropped in the trash. you know, we arrest something close to a million people a year for marijuana. almost all of them for possession. you might say, okay, it's a slap on the wrist. well, it might be a slap on the wrist. your name comes up on that
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computer, your application is going in the trash. you know, it's this entire, you know, system built up against people trying to succeed who often are already struggling. >> trying to succeed. in temz of bringing experience to bare in this, you know, what did you call upon to play this, this character that you -- >> really growing up in chicago you can definitely experience certain things, and i -- you know, i was blessed enough to be in a neighborhood where it was like black middle class, but still street elements there, so i called upon my relationships that i have had with people that i know that in their experiences also, but i also went to baltimore and just did a lot of research. >> the film is set in baltimore. >> the film takes place in baltimore. i just lived in baltimore for a while and just really did my best to just let this human being become alive, you know? >> you know, josh, just on the economics of it, the story of mobility in america. we always talk about the american dream and sort of how
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much it's within everybody's grasp, but increasingly the story that we're telling is not everybody can get a chance of grasping the top end of the ladder because of systematic failures, but it's not a discussion we often have. >> by any measure, whether it's income, social services, sadly in all the debates coming up in washington over the next couple of months from here toward how deeply do we cut these things, essentially make it harder and harder to close that inequality gap and have the kind of support that would help anybody coming out of prison or who is a young man in a neighborhood to have a chance to survive. >> we're going to have to wrap it up. common, i have to ask you, you were invited to the white house to perform. there was some conservatives who didn't like it, but the president stood by his man. >> yes, yes. >> are there plans to go back any time soon? >> any time i'm invited, i will go to the white house. if the president and first lady say, common, come, i'll be there. >> i actually am the same way. if the president and the first lady say come and rap, i can do
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crazy rhymes. i encourage everybody in america to go google that right now. there we go. thank you to common. thanks for joining us. thanks to our panel, michael eric dyson, ryan grim, and josh green. see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern and 9:00 a.m. pacific when i'm joined by rolling stones -- andrea mitchell reports is coming up next. personalized information and rewards for addressing my health risks. but she's still going to give me a heart attack. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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